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Keep the Lights On

Producers Marie Therese Guirgis, Lucas Joaquin, Ira Sachs


New York City, 1997. Erik Rothman is another gay man trying to make a connection through a phone sex line when he meets Paul Lucy, closeted, handsome, and with a girlfriend attached. What begins as a highly charged first encounter between the two men soon extends itself into a hopeful moment between potential lovers. As Erik negotiates life as a documentary filmmaker, his relationship with Paul, a precociously successful entertainment lawyer, increasingly becomes something more than just a fling. As the connection grows stronger, they share secrets, friends, drugs and celebrations. Soon, Erik and Paul move in together, only to discover that its easier to come out of the closet than it is getting rid of its shadow. Over the passing years, Paul’s drug use gets out of control, and Erik puts all of himself into stopping him, and trying to save the relationship. Only when Paul returns from rehab, however, does Erik discover that it is his own demons he needs to fight. After 10 years of a life together, he realizes its not the relationship he needs to save: it’s himself.

About The Team

Ira Sachs (Director) is a writer and director based in New York City. His films include Married Life (2007), The Delta (1997) and the 2005 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning Forty Shades of Blue. One of his most recent films, Last Address, a short work honoring a group of NYC artists who died of AIDS, has been added to the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art and MoMA, and played at the 2011 Venice Biennale. Sachs teaches in the Graduate Film department at NYU and is a fellow at both the MacDowell Colony and Yaddo. He is also the founder and co-curator of Queer/Art/Film, a monthly series held at the IFC Center in New York, as well as the newly established Queer/Art/Mentorship, a program that pairs and supports mentorship between queer working artists in NYC.

Lucas Joaquin (Producer) produced the second unit shoot for the feature Beasts of the Southern Wild (dir. Benh Zeitlin), which premiered in competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature at Sundance and the Camera D’Or for Best First Feature at the Cannes Film Festival. Joaquin has also produced several acclaimed short films including Last Address (dir. Ira Sachs), which screened at the 2011 Venice Biennale, the 2010 Sundance and Berlin International Film Festivals, and is now in the permanent collection at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In collaboration with Parts and Labor, he has also produced several music videos for artists like the Apples In Stereo and Trentemøller. Upcoming projects include Ira Sachs’s Love Is Strange, Zachary Wigon’s The Heart Machine, and Ron Eyal and Eleanor Burke’s Bright As Day, for which Joaquin was awarded the Sundance Creative Producing Fellowship in 2012.

Marie Therese Guirgis (Producer) is a talent manager in New York City representing film directors, a business that she launched in 2008. She is a producer of Julia Loktev’s upcoming The Loneliest Planet starring Gael Garcia Bernal. She was executive producer of Jonathan Caouette’s Tarnation and Rupert Murray’s Unknown White Male. In addition she is a development, marketing and distribution consultant for MPI (Producer and distributor of Ti West’s House of the Devil and The Innkeepers, Jim Mickle’s Stakeland and DVD distributor for IFC Films). She was Senior Vice President of Wellspring — a leading independent distributor of arthouse films. She ran acquisitions and distribution and helped launch Wellspring’s theatrical releasing initiative in 1999, acquiring over 400 titles, both classic films and new releases, to create a large and notable library sold to The Weinstein Company in 2006.